Starting a new company is extremely hard, which is probably why most businesses fail within the first couple of years.
Challenges such as marketing and hiring the right staff are some of the major issues that even good managers struggle with.
Launching a new website is just as hard and, as if things weren't difficult enough, Google gives people an extra hurdle which is sometimes called the "sandbox".
When you launch a new site, Google doesn't trust it at all. Even if the BBC launched a new site it would start off without any trust and would receive very little traffic.
As the site attracts links from other sites, it gradually earns enough trust to start ranking for some long tail search terms.
If the site gains enough trusted links it may start to rank highly for competitive keywords (ie keywords with lots of PPC advertisers) but this can take up to 24 months.
You are probably thinking that this is a harsh move by Google, but with the sheer volume of sites being launched it needs to have some method of making sure only the really good ones reach the top.
Luckily you can follow a few simple tips to reach the top quicker.
1. Your first links
When you launch your brand new site the first few links can make all the difference. Linking to it from other trusted sites right out of the gate can dramatically shorten the time it takes to build trust. Conversely, starting a site off with low quality links is suicide.
Submit to a couple of trusted directories such as Business.com and the Yahoo! Directory and maybe link to the site from some of your other company's websites (link from the news sections to appear more natural).
2. Spin-off sites
Sometimes a new site is a spin-off from a particular section of an existing site. For example, a car insurance site might have a caravan insurance section but then decide to launch a dedicated caravan insurance website.
In this case, the best method would be to create the new site on the new domain and not allow Google to access it. Then once the site was ready you would 301 redirect the old pages to the new pages and hope that the rankings and trust from the old domain passed across.
3. Building trust
Most people try to get relevant links to their sites, which are great for improving rankings in a particular niche but not quite as good for building trust. The ideal links for building trust are from major blogs and news sites.
These can also be quite relevant as usually the article linking to you is related to your niche - even though the rest of the site isn't.
Sites that receive a lot of attention from the mainstream press almost always start ranking a lot more quickly than sites that don't have the benefit of a large PR budget.
Related research: SEO Best Practice Guide